Heart Disease Runs in My Family. Do I Really Have Control Of My Destiny?
Genetic susceptibility should definitely be on the list of considerations when you prioritize your lifestyle and daily habits. But with the Standard American Diet, everyone is susceptible to heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. If genetics are what keep you up at night, they should be even more of a PLANTSTRONG push for you to change what you eat.
It’s quite possible we all have something coming for us—genetic, environmental, or, God forbid, accidental. Shouldn’t we do everything we can to prepare our bodies to fight back?
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recently completed a ten-year study concluding that nearly ALL males over age 60 and ALL females over age 70 reared on a typical Western, animal-based diets are already suffering from heart disease and should be treated as such. What do you think is the main cause of all that heart disease?
More often than not, it’s not genetic. It’s diet.
Even in the absence of symptoms, if we grew up on Kraft Mac and Cheese and Stouffer’s French Bread Pizzas, we should operate under the assumption that heart disease exists within us. And that sodium-suffering, cheese-choking, deep-fried diet history is more of a risk to us than Grandpa Pete’s pericarditis.
What is at the core of this terrible disease? Plaque.
Plaque is a waxy, fatty deposit that can build up in various places in the body, including the inside of the arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart. Over time, plaque grows even greasier, more fatty and nastier, and can become so thick that it severely constricts the flow of blood. If left untreated—or worse, if the unhealthy diet that promoted plaque in the first place persists—the arteries may become completely closed off, triggering a heart attack.
While blood thinners can increase the flow of blood, and medications like nitroglycerin can even temporarily dilate the arteries to prevent death, your fork is the only tool that can actually help reverse the buildup of plaque in your system.
Surprisingly, artery blockage causes less than 10 percent of heart attacks. The cause of nearly 90 percent of them are gel plaques, similar to small pimples that line the arterial wall. When one decides to pop, your body forms a blood clot. The result, more often than not, is no blood flow downstream to the heart.
In fact, my father (Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., a surgeon and expert on cardiac disease) is convinced that people have the profound ability to destroy these Darth Vader death-star gel plaques using only their forks—by eating whole, plant-healing foods—in as little as three weeks! Try that one on for size: Three weeks to make yourself heart attack-proof! Considering your health is your most valuable asset, that’s an investment worth making.
To learn more, watch this special presentation of “Rip’s Rescue: Make Yourself Heart-Attack Proof” with Dr. Brian Asbill, a cardiologist, lifestyle medicine physician, and one of medical directors at PLANTSTRONG.